A GREAT INVENTION THAT ALMOST DIDN’T MAKE IT TO MARKET…

Fish FinderThough not always the most practical of people, Bernie Gillespie was a genius when it came to electronics. Growing up, his family was dirt poor and Bernie vowed to do something about it. On his 13th birthday, Bernie set out to create a great invention, one that would bring wealth and prosperity to his family for the rest of their lives. It took him years to barter and purchase any and all electronic equipment he could get his hands on—a transistor here, some wire there… He worked day and night creating diagrams, models, researching and experimenting, but to no avail. He just couldn’t come up with something that hadn’t already been invented. He was at his wit’s end. But then toward the end of the sixth year on his quest to create a great invention, he was awoken in the middle of the night by an “ah-ha” idea—it was if the light of ten-thousand candles had suddenly lit up inside his head. He got up and worked for three days non-stop—no food, no drink, no sleep and only two brief potty breaks.

He finished his invention on his 22nd birthday. His invention was magnificent, state-of-the-art, a triumph of electronic ingenuity. When he unveiled his invention, the locals were very impressed. It was an electronic marvel, the culmination of brilliance, creativity and ingenuity. Bernie Gillespie had invented the Permanent Fish Finder. The problem was Bernie Gillespie was from a family of Mongolian sheep herders who lived smack dab in the middle of the Gobi Desert. There was no bodies of water within hundreds of miles of his village, let alone fish. Being as it was “permanent”, Bernie’s fish finder was of no use to anyone, even those willing to travel hundreds of miles to the East China Sea. As I mentioned earlier, Bernie wasn’t the most practical of people.

No one bought his invention and he almost threw it in a dung heap. But alas, a buyer from Harbor Freight Tools who was ger shopping (“ger” is the Mongolian word for yurt—helpful?) came across the teary-eyed Bernie and his invention. “I just have one small tweak and I think this invention of yours could be a winner!” said the Harbor Freight buyer.

The Portable Fish Finder available at Harbor Freight Tools has a range of 0-90 ft. and a backlit screen for day or night fish viewing. The fish finder shows the fish size, as well as depth and bottom profile. Other features include floating transducer with 35 ft. cable, 45 degree sonar angle, pouch and strap.  Bring the portable fish finder on the boat or use it from a dock with amazingly accurate results. The fish finder runs on  4 AA batteries (sold separately) and also features sound alert and adjustable sensitivity. It’s quite a unique piece of electronic equipment for the casual and serious angler alike—but not quite as unique as a guy named “Bernie Gillespie” from a Mongolian sheep-herding family…

Portable Fish Finder
item#94511

Low Cost Auto Restoration Tools

dazed chevelle Remember back, driving your parents’ station wagon or sensible Buick, dreaming of the cool wheels beyond your reach? Cherry Bomb and header and 4-barrel carb were part of our vernacular, just not part of our lives. It’s funny how, now as we get older, we can do all the cool stuff we wanted to do when we were punk teenagers. We were car crazy, man, and many’s the time I envied the guys in the neighborhood who were out on their front lawns, working on their Dodge Challengers or GTO “Goats”—

—not just because they HAD them (which would have been enough), but because they WORKED on them. They probably borrowed their dads’ tools, saved up working shit jobs to get parts and supplies, and spent Satyurdays doing whatever it took to keep their wheels “cherry.” Nowadays, though, when you hear (and feel) a carb-powered 426 Hemi thundering down the road, it’s a geezer you’re more likely to see behind the wheel than a punk. And chances are, that geezer is one of us. Classic car restoration is more popular than ever, and with the help of online parts stores, chat forums and YouTube videos, guys who thought they’d never get to rebuild their favorite classic rides are now living the dream– in their garages (and on their lawns), doing just that. If you’ve decided to restore a vehicle yourself, I salute you. Not only will you save thousands of dollars, you’ll be embarking on a long, challenging– even therapeutic– journey that will reap rewards for years to come. But before we start doing that victory lap, to “Eye of the Tiger,” let me suggest some basic tools you’ll want right out of the gate to make the dream a reality (unless, of course, you like repeatedly going back & forth to the store when you’re in the middle of doing something): The Must-Have Tool The Air Compressor will quickly become your best friend over the course of your restoration. It’s the first thing you’ll need for your arsenal. Between the Die GrinderPaint Sprayer and Impact Wrench, you’ll get a lot of use out of it and, believe me, you’ll thank yourself every time you facea big chore that you don’t have to do manually. It needs to have a decent enough CFM—at least 5-6 CFM per minute at 90 psi– so that the long bursts of sanding, buffing or cutting won’t wear too hard on the compressor. You could get the job done with a 29-Gallon Tank Unit, but if you can swing it, go for a 60-Gallon Compressor, with power to spare. By the way, the Die Grinder is great for polishing the inside of the head ports, cleaning up metal and using with a cut-off wheel to repair panels. Air power, man… it’s a bacon-saver.

Engine Work Compression Tester will help diagnose vital motor issues, such as worn piston rings, burnt valves and bad head gaskets.  This is a great first tool to use when you get your new project car home. You can even take it with you to test a car before you buy it! While it’s not vital for the project, you may want to consider picking up a “cherry-picker” Engine Hoist, especially if you’re planning to restore more than one vehicle. A good 2-Ton Shop Crane should be sufficient, and will more than pay for itself in the long run. Most likely, you should have the cylinders re-bored. A cylinder bore gauge is needed to check for taper, out-of-round and oversize on the cylinders if you are rebuilding the motor yourself. Any critical wear on the cylinder can be reached with this gauge. An Engine Cylinder Hone will de-glaze the cylinder walls and give them a nice, smooth finish. Next, you’ll want a Valve Spring Compressor to remove the valves for a rebuild. Also a cheap valve lapping tool, with grinding compound, helps reseat the valves. Piston Ring Pliers will help you remove and replace the rings on the pistons without breaking them. A Piston Ring Compressor is needed for the installation of the pistons. Also, a piston groove cleaner will remove the carbon crud from the piston grooves. A Dial Indicator is used to measure run-out on things like the flywheel, and endplay on the crankshaft. While there are various types of mounts, including magnetic base and screw mounts, I recommend the clamping mount because it’s faster and easier to work with. Next, a Stud Puller is necessary for removing stripped, rusted and otherwise stubborn head studs, as well as exhaust & intake manifold studs. Another tool you cannot live without is the Torque Wrench—two, actually. Get both a 1/2″ drive and 3/8″ drive for your tool cabinet. These are essential to torque all your bolts to factory specs. Have a complete Tap and Die Set on hand, preferably with both SAE & metric. You’ll find this invaluable for cleaning up old bolts and restoring rusted holes. A good Digital Micrometer is needed to precisely measure anything.

Body Work MIG Welder. You won’t get through a restoration job without it. Why a MIG welder, as opposed to another type? Well, for starters, if you’re new to this kind of project, the MIG is the easiest to learn. Also, they work with the most common types of metals, overhead welding is easier, and the MIG welder works fast. You’ll also want a Hammer & Dolly Set, otherwise known as a “Body & Fender Set.” These tools go a long way in repairing and straightening steel panels, and all-around custom fab work. This one, made by Pittsburgh, probably has the best price you’re going to find, and one look at the customer reviews should convince you there’s no need to keep looking. A Step Drill is essential to make quick, clean work out of drilling large diameter holes for auto-body jobs such as installing chrome trim, and for firewall holes. A Spot Weld Cutter works great in restoration projects and does just what its name implies. Also, a Plumber’s Torch is great for softening and shaping metal. As you work on your project, you’ll find a Bench Grinder and Drill Press are extremely helpful in the auto restoration process.  Plus, a Wire Wheel on the grinder is a must and makes cleaning up parts quick and simple.

Additional Work Make sure you include various Brake Tools, a Tubing Bender and brake flare tool. Finally, get a CreeperPaint StripperTransmission JackDent Repair Kit, and a Comprehensive Mechanics Tool Kit, and you’ll be equipped to tackle most everything involved in your car restoration, as well as many other future projects. Of course, you’ll inevitably be needing cleaners, sealants, lubricants and the odd part along the way, but consider yourself the proud owner of an equipped auto restoration garage.

gremlin Now, get out there and make that Gremlin Funny Car a reality!

INVALUABLE GARDENING TOOL? GAME OF THRONES WEAPON? BOTH?

Garden Pick PlanterWhether you’re planting a bed of petunias or vying to rule the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, you’ll love the Garden Pick/Planter from Harbor Freight Tools. This mattock-style tiller features a pick at one end and an adze on the other. Featuring a nonslip comfort grip, the pick is great for breaking through hard soil—or the armor of Lannister bannermen. The adze is ideal for digging, cultivating or counter-striking a pike thrust.

So what if you deny wanting to rule the Seven Kingdoms? Not a problem because with the Garden Pick/Planter, you can live among the Wildlings and become the personal gardener of Mance Rayder. You’ll grow vegetables for Mance and your Freefolk clan. With your gardening skills, you’ll feed the poor, eliminating the need to scale the Wall and pillage the towns of the North. With no reason to battle, you’ll finally be at peace with the Night’s Watch. In fact, they’ll buy your vegetables. When the White Walkers come, you can offer them freshly grown butternut squash. For some reason, the White Walkers love butternut squash. And now that the White Walkers are your friends, the undead wights will be on your side as well.

As luck would have it, Mance Rayder has nut allergies and you forgot to tell him about the almonds in the Romesco sauce. With Mance out of the way, you’ll then become ruler of the Wildlings. Using the Garden Pick/Planter, you grow beautiful daffodils, which you send to Daenerys, the Mother of Dragons, as a gift. She’s so taken by your flowers that she agrees to marry you. You then become the Stepfather of Dragons. With the remaining heir of King Aerys II as your wife, her dragons, the Unsullied, Storm Crows and Second Sons on your side as well as the Wildings, White Walkers and wights, you make a direct assault on King’s Landing and by dinner time, you’re sitting on the Iron Throne ruling the Seven Kingdoms, which is really what you wanted all along but denied earlier because you didn’t want to come across as “greedy”. You’re a just and benevolent ruler so modesty be damned! You rule the known world! And all because of the Garden Pick/Planter from Harbor Freight Tools.

Garden Pick/Planter
Item#: 69793

Tale of the Tape

Sometimes the simplest tools can be the most effective.  Any do-it-yourselfer knows how essential tough, reliable tape can be and no self-respecting handyman would be caught without it.  Duct tape and electrical tape both are two indispensable items that you can never have enough of.  And, when it comes to high quality expendables, Harbor Freight Tools has everything you need.  Whether it’s traditional duct tape or electrical tape, with these handy items, you’ll be able to handle any sticky situation.

There’s no denying that duct tape is one of the most versatile and useful tools in the world.  If you don’t have a roll somewhere in your toolbox or garage, there’s a good chance you’ll find yourself in a tight spot at one point or another and wish you did.  For just $4.29, you can pick up a big roll of 2” x 50 Yard Cloth Back Silver Duct Tape (or 4 rolls for $14.99) and be ready for just about anything.  From the more traditional uses like repairing air ducts and handling small household projects to more unique applications like patching a hole in a tarp or fixing broken hoses, duct tape can be a life-saver as well as just unbelievably useful.

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“Incredibly strong, durable and very long lasting. I can honestly say it is the best duct tape I have ever used.” – by PRIMETIME from Houston, Tx

“I recently bought a roll of this tape and I am really impressed with its performance. It sticks as good as duct tape costing two times the price.” – by ironduke from Parts Unknown

So what about you electricians out there?  Need to stock up on electrical tape?  Of course you do because this stuff is the cousin of duct tape and just as important to have on hand.  Heavy duty electrical tape not only provides insulation for wiring jobs but also handles other tasks in a pinch.  With a tight grip and the ability to conform to sharp contours, electrical tape is pretty handy as just regular old tape too.  How many rolls of 60’ x 3/4″ Industrial Grade Electrical Tape do you think you could get for $4.99?  How about 10?  Only Harbor Freight sticks by that kind of deal.

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“I recently had to cut open some wire looms I’d taped up a few years back to move some harnesses and I noticed how well this stuff held up under the hood, through Michigan winters and salt. It’s about time to buy more so I figured I’d go ahead and review it. I like it!” – by EvilSteve from Warren, MI

You don’t have to be a professional grade contractor or run a repair shop to benefit from duct tape or electrical tape.  These are items that anyone should have readily available, just in case.  Even if they don’t provide a permanent solution, reliable tape can solve lots of problems temporarily and allow you to get some professional help if necessary.  But, if you like to handle things yourself, don’t hesitate to load up on this terrific tape.

SOMETHING YOU’LL NEVER SEE BRAD PITT WEAR…

Magnifier Head Strap With LightsLet’s face it, certain hobbies won’t exactly woo the opposite sex. You never hear about fly-fishing groupies or transistor repair hangers-on. And you never will. But that’s okay because you know who you are—you’re a hobbyist damn it and function reigns supreme! Take the Magnifier Head Strap With Lights from Harbor Freight Tools for example. This magnifier head strap fits over regular spectacles or safety glasses and features flip-up lenses that can be changed among four magnification levels: 1.8x, 2.3x, 3.7x, and 4.8x. The head strap features a vinyl headband with soft contoured padding and is adjustable for a comfortable fit. The head strap also has dual lights on both sides, with independent switches for convenience.

Practical for sure, but wearing it will make you look like Bryce and Clyde from Sixteen Candles. In other words, Brad Pitt wouldn’t be caught dead wearing one, but then again, who’d want to be Brad Pitt with his beautiful wife, successful acting career and millions of dollars in the bank? Let me rephrase that. Brad Pitt be damned! Good looks, talent and money aren’t going to magnify a poorly soldered connection on a circuit board. And at the end of the day when Death knocks on your door, if you open it wearing the Magnifier Head Strap With Lights, Death may start laughing so hard that you may be able to buy yourself some extra time. When Death comes for Brad Pitt, well…

Magnifier Head Strap With Lights
Item#38896

The Quest for Fire Just Got Easier

Everyone knows that one of the essential components to camping (and surviving the elements) is the ability to make fire.  Sure, there are a few ways to go about it and if you really want to impress someone with your ingenuity and machismo, you can go down the rubbing two sticks together route.  But , if you just want to get warm and start heating up some food for the evening, you can do it the easy way, with the Magnesium Fire Starter from Harbor Freight Tools!

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Pocket-size and waterproof, the Magnesium Fire Starter is one tool that’s better to have and not need than the other way around.  With built-in flint, a striker knife and shaving saw, this handy tool has everything you’ll need in order to get a fire started quickly, even in damp or windy conditions.  And at just $2.79, it could be an inexpensive life-saver.  Wanna see it in action?

In case you need further evidence of this fire starter’s usefulness, here are a couple customer reviews to help spark your interest:

“I now always carry a magnesium fire starter when in the woods. About 10 years ago I was forced to spend an unplanned frigid night in the woods. I found a semi sheltered spot, improved it with some found materials, then gathered fire materials and pulled out my waterproof match tube. The supposed waterproof tube had allowed enough humidity in to turn the match heads to a brittle crust. None of them lit. It was now about 10 degrees F and pitch dark. I always carry 2 methods of fire starting, a lesson learned from my dad many years ago. I pulled out my BIC lighter and with cold numbed fingers flicked it several times until the spark wheel separated from the lighter and was lost somewhere in the leaf litter. It was a v-e-r-y long, v-e-r-y cold night, but a valuable lesson was learned. When it comes down to such a basic need, the method must be simple and bulletproof. This item meets that requirement. “ – by Veeguy from Wisconsin

“I started using this product more than 10 months ago. Since then, I have bought several more to keep in storage and packs whenever they go on sale, not that they are expensive anyway. I have tested many other similar fire-steel only and fire-steel plus magnesium bar combos, even some designed for special forces, and still haven’t found anything that beats this. The original magnesium fire starter I purchased was moved to my key chain right away and has withstood the stresses of daily wear. I still use it as I have found no need to find a replacement. The striker’s flat side produces the best sparks and shaves the magnesium the easiest, while the serrated side produces saw dust style tinder in a pinch. I have been able to take nothing but this fire starter and produce a good fire with everything from sticks up to medium-sized felled branches. It would of course be easier to use a knife and hatchet to make fire wood and tinder but as I said, this tool is able to do it if you have nothing else, and that proves its worth. The original fire starter still on my keychain is used and mistreated often, but the fire-steel is still solidly attached and the only material lost is the deep saddles I’ve carved in from using it so much. I would suggest it for anyone from avid hunters and survivalists to preppers and emergency kit builders.
– Perfect for storing away in packs without taking up much room.
– Handy chain to keep together when not in use.
– A simple, no frills, straightforward tool!
– Must have!” – by Andrew the Enthusiast from Virginia

As mentioned by Mr. Vee and Mr. Enthusiast, the Magnesium Fire Starter is a great survivalist tool that is a perfect addition to any pack, whether you’re just going out for a hike or for an extended excursion.  While you’re stocking up, be sure to also check out the 8” Survival Knife with a compass built right onto the handle.  The handle also contains a survival kit which includes a sewing kit, safety pins, buttons, fishing line and hook, 6 matches, and fire-starting paper. With these two tools in your pack, you’ll be prepared to handle just about any situation, all for under $15!

THE SWISS ARMY KNIFE OF CHAIRS…

As a kid, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a Swiss Army knife. And not just any model, the one with all the tools, including the fishscaler with hook disgorger, magnifying glass and gas-powered chainsaw (no longer available on newer models). While I never ended up using the leather awl, that knife wFoldable Aluminum Sports Chairas responsible for endless adventures. Soap carving, cutting branches, hunting grizzlies, you name it and my trusty knife got me through it.

Truth be told, we never really outgrow our fascination for tools, gadgets and doohickeys. The only thing that changes with age is that we have to sit down more. Hence, the Swiss Army Knife of chairs, a.k.a. Foldable Aluminum Sports Chair from Harbor Freight Tools. The original prototype had a durable aluminum frame with extra wide seat, foldable side table, three side pocket, bottle holder AND a post hole digger, retractable canopy, storage locker with digital lock, shark cage, 212 cc gas-powered generator, backhoe, microwave oven, tanning booth, surgical forceps and private island. It was a real beauty! But the suggested retail price was $38,000,006. Even with a 20% discount, it would still come to $30,400,004.80 (without tax), not to mention the added shipping cost if you ordered online.

The paring-down process began. We kept the durable aluminum frame, folding side table, three side pockets and bottle holder. That brought the price down from $38,000,006 to under $30 dollars. By keeping a place to hold beverages, a surface for snacks and sunglasses, and pockets for magazines and newspapers, customers didn’t even care about losing the tanning booth or private island.  Convenient, lightweight and a price tag under $38,000,006—what’s not to like? Get the Foldable Aluminum Sports Chair from Harbor Freight Tool today and let the games, or picnic, or nap… begin!

Foldable Aluminum Sports Chair
item#66383

What Dad Really Wants on Father’s Day – (by SaveOnEnergy.com)

saveonenergyExploring the best way to save and use energy is what SaveOnEnergy.com is all about. In fact, everything they do serves one purpose– helping consumers find the right energy plan at a great price. Recently, Heather Bailey at Save On Energy posted 15 fresh, different ideas on “What Dad Really Wants on Father’s Day”:

If figuring out the perfect gift for your father or husband becomes harder every year, take heart and take a look at our gift list. We’ve got 15 fresh ideas that Dad – and the environment – will appreciate. Getting Dad a gift card may sound like the easy way out, but our thoughtful and creative ideas are anything but boring.”

It came as no surprise to us that the first item on the list was a tool (“toy”) store gift card. Also not astonishing was their suggestion to go to Harbor Freight.

A gift card gives him the freedom to play around with his favorite things without any disapproving looks from Mom. Harbor Freight Tools offers electronic gift cards so you can email one to Dad or you can pick one up in one of its 500+ stores.”

We were also duly impressed with the other fourteen ideas (although we had to pry our eyes away from the gift card page). To get the 4-1-1 on your home’s energy, visit SaveOnEnergy.com– and when you’re ready to shop for Dad, head on over to Harbor Freight Tools! #fathersday #saveonenergy

Pittsburgh Tubing Roller: This Is How We Roll

If you’re in the market for an economical manual tubing roller, you really should take a look at the Pittsburgh Tubing Roller (SKU #99736) from Harbor Freight. This sturdy, heavy-duty tubing roller is an absolute wonder.

It’s easy to use and includes 1, 1-1/2 and 2-inch rollers that can bend tubing anywhere from 3/4-inch to 2-inches in diameter. It even supports 3/4-inch, 1-1/4-inch and 2-inch Electrical Metallic Tubing (EMT) conduit sizes.  Whether your project is for work or hobby, the tubing roller works incrementally so that you can create bends as precise as necessary. An excellent tool for the price!

tubing roller

The Pittsburgh tubing roller bends it like Beckham.

The Pittsburgh Tubing Roller does a lot and takes up little space. It’s portable and a prize to have around the shop. It’s made for bending mild steel, copper and aluminum tubing, alike. You can use it to fabricate an exhaust, roll bars and many other projects. This is one of those fun toys when doing a cage because your tube work can follow the arc of the windshield, have a domed roof, or whatever other normal or wacky job you can think of. It also does a decent job with bike-quality bends for the serious cyclist. The roller can be bench-mounted as well on this Central Machinery Adjustable Pedestal Stand (sold separately); just make sure your workbench is solid, level and strong enough to support not only the tool itself, but your work material and any pressure applied while bending.

Here are just a few comments from owners:

Really great tool and easy to use. This took about 5 minutes or less to complete and I was going slow and easy.”  The Nettletons – Marietta, GA

“Works great. If you start rolling bigger tube such as 1 1/2″ you will get a work out but 1″ and smaller is a piece of cake but no matter what size you roll the results are amazing. Just take your time and it will turn out great. I have been using mine to build furniture and it turns out gorgeous.”  JoeBro – Undisclosed

“I am always afraid of cheap tools but this is a great tool for the price. It is a substantial piece of equipment. It comes with 3 sets of dies and works very well. I bought the flat die set as well. Makes beautiful rings in 1/4 x 1 1/2 steel.”  Robert – Undisclosed

Keep in mind this unit is designed for bending copper, aluminum and mild steel. Never try to bend plastic or PVC pipe with it. Another word of caution: Always check your minimum practical bend radius. This depends on the diameter and wall thickness of the tube you are working with. Making bends with too small of a radius will result in tube deformations like flattening, folding or rupturing. As always, practice on a piece of scrap material prior to starting your project.

The Pittsburgh Tubing Roller performs like much higher-priced models without bending your budget. At just $169.99, it’ll keep you rolling for years to come!

Pick Up a Handy Welding Spoon without Forking Over a Lot of Cash!

For any serious welder out there, a Welding Spoon is a must-have accessory for making your work just a little easier.  And if you’re a welding novice who has never heard of a Welding Spoon before then here’s your introduction to a great tool that will help you in filling holes while welding!  If you’re looking to create a smooth, flat surface when filling a hole in metal, you’ll need this reliable welding accessory to ensure professional results.

weldingspoon

Even though it may not be used in every project, the Welding Spoon is a tool that many professional welders consider essential.  By placing the curved copper plate behind the hole you’re trying to fill, the Spoon not only supports the weld but also absorbs the heat, allowing for a cleaner finish.  In fact, with this tool in your arsenal, you’ll be able to fill holes without leaving any evidence at all that there was a hole there in the first place.  And best of all, at just $9.49, this inexpensive item won’t leave too big a hole in your tool budget either.

And what do our customers think?

“Made welding thin sheet metal easier. Just getting back into welding and this really works well.” – by SOCAL SCOUT from Irvine, CA

Thanks, SOCAL, for that review.   Short and sweet, just like your next project will be when you have this great Welding Spoon from Harbor Freight Tools in your Welding Cabinet.  With a dimpled vinyl grip, this welding accessory is both easy and comfortable to use.  And while you may not use it often, when the time comes to fill holes in metal, you’ll be glad you filled your tool box with this simple welding accessory!